For the second time in as many days, the Houston Astros have added a free agent. This time, it's right-handed reliever Jose Veras. The 32-year old played in 72 games last season for the Brewers and the Astros will be his fifth team in as many seasons.
Veras is a very good strikeout pitcher, averaging 10.6 Ks per nine innings last season and 9.4 K/9 in his seven year career. In 138 innings the past two seasons, Veras has struck out 158 batters, but has also walked 74 over that same stretch.
Because of that strikeout rate, Veras has been able to limit home runs to under 1.0 per nine innings despite posting ground ball rates around 40 percent in his career. He also has walked batters at a clip of 5.0 per nine in most of the past five season, but still managed to keep his FIP under 4.00.
His SIERA numbers have been very consistent the past three seasons, though his true ERA has been more erratic. His expected FIP also has been very consistent, right around 3.80 in each of the past three years.
Veras primarily throws a fastball and a curve, occasionally working in a slider. His fastball comes in at an average speed of 94 MPH and was a positive pitch by linear weights and runs above average (according to FanGraphs). Interestingly, though, his arsenal looks different through Pitch F/X in FanGraphs' data. Last year with the Brewers, it said he threw mostly splitters, sinkers and curves.
What do you think? Is this the kind of low-cost move you wanted Houston to make to fill that closer/setup role? Do you expect them to add more low-cost relievers? Does Veras' walk rate scare you?